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Pink Floyd member Richard Wright dies at 65

LONDON — Richard Wright, a founding member of the rock group Pink Floyd, died Monday. He was 65.

Pink Floyd's spokesman Doug Wright, who is not related to the artist, said Mr. Wright died after a battle with cancer at his home in Britain. He says the band member's family did not want to give more details about his death.

Mr. Wright met Pink Floyd members Roger Waters and Nick Mason in college and joined their early band, Sigma 6. Along with the late Syd Barrett, the four formed Pink Floyd in 1965.

The group's jazz-infused rock and drug-laced multimedia "happenings" made them darlings of the London psychedelic scene, and their 1967 album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn, was a hit.

In the early days of Pink Floyd, Mr. Wright, along with Barrett, was seen as the group's dominant musical force. The London-born musician and son of a biochemist wrote songs and played the keyboard.

"Rick's keyboards were an integral park of the Pink Floyd sound" said Joe Boyd, a prominent record producer who worked with Pink Floyd early in its career.

The band released a series of commercially and critically successful albums including 1973's Dark Side of the Moon, which has sold more than 40 million copies. Mr. Wright wrote The Great Gig in the Sky and Us and Them for that album, and later worked on the group's epic compositions such as Atom Heart Mother, Echoes and Shine On You Crazy Diamond.

But tensions grew between Waters, Mr. Wright and fellow band member David Gilmour. The tensions came to a head during the making of The Wall when Waters insisted Mr. Wright be fired. As a result, Mr. Wright was relegated to the status of session musician on the tour of The Wall, and did not perform on Pink Floyd's 1983 album The Final Cut.